The humble fruit sticker may seem an unlikely cause for environmental concern but removing it from produce could create huge savings in plastic, energy and CO2 emissions.
In response to consumer demand for less packaging, Dutch fruit and veg supplier Nature & More and Swedish supermarket ICA have joined forces to run a trial to replace sticky labels on organic avocados and sweet potatoes with a laser mark.
M&S are also using it on coconuts in the UK.
Dubbed “natural branding”, the technique uses a strong light to remove pigment from the skin of produce. The mark is invisible once skin is removed and doesn’t affect shelf life or eating quality.
“By using natural branding on all the organic avocados we would sell in one year we will save 200km (135 miles) of plastic 30cm wide. It’s small but I think it adds up,” says Peter Hagg, ICA business unit manager.
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